Friday, February 15, 2008

Accepting Our Spouses Weaknesses

Unlike Heather, I am not a Valentine Scrooge. If Tim and I spent every day making eyes at each other and made time for focusing on our couplehood I'd see less significance in a day society dictates as "love day", but with life railroading us on most days I welcome a chance to slow down and appreciate the love of my life. There are only a few days in a year that Tim sees a reason to get me flowers- Valentine's Day and my birthday- and without February 14th my flower receiving would be cut in half. So, bring it on cupid, I'm here every year, same time, but maybe in a different place!

In the spirit of celebrating this societal mandate, Tim and I went to a couple's dinner at the chapel on base last night. It was a chance for us to meet some people, as well as to have some time alone without the kids. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. We ate salmon and drank iced tea and sampled red velvet cake for the first time. The guest speakers were very good, being funny and to-the-point.

Their point? The 3 A's of dealing with your spouse's differences: Acknowledge, Accept, Appreciate, and..... something else I can't remember, but you get the point. Admit that we're all different, get used to it, and rely on the way your spouse is different to enhance your life. Great advice, and well-timed in light of all my recent displays of direction-sensing challenges. Yes, I've done it again: I got lost in the UK.

On the morning that we moved in, I went with the Little Boys to meet the movers at our new house while Tim stayed behind to load up the last of our stuff from the hotel and to check out. I know exactly how to get to our house from base- if I go out Gate 1. As fate would have it, Gate 1 was closed. Luckily, or possible unluckily, I knew were another gate was. I managed to find it with minimal trouble, but this gate is on the other side of the base and I had never been on that side before. I figured that if I went either way, right or left (straight wasn't an option, thankfully, or I may have ended up in London) I'd be able to follow the outside of the fence and make way to the outside of gate 1 and continue on from there.

I should have realized that there was a reason all the traffic was in the left-turn lane. I took advantage of the clear right-turn lane, and off I went. This road led me far from the sight of a fence, and into a town in which the road swerved east and west, north and south until any slight idea of the direction I was facing (or should have been facing) disappeared. As I left the town and traveled the country roads, I left the county I was in (which I supposed to do), and was greeted by a "welcome to Suffolk" sign. Before long I was welcomed back into Norfolk, then back into Suffolk. I lost track of how many times I skipped between the counties. I was finally able to stop and ask directions at a base north of my town and way out of my way. Your town? the guards replied. No problem. Go back the way you came, take a left and continue on for 11 miles or so. They neglected to tell me which way to turn at the light, so I went the wrong way again and had to ask a kindly, amused British bloke how to get there. Go back the way you came, he replied, take a left and continue on for 6 miles or so. By the time I arrived it had taken me nearly an hour to complete a 25 minute journey.

You'd be wrong to assume that Tim appreciates the difference in our direction deciphering abilities. He appreciates it about as much as I appreciate his inability to clean a toilet or make piping hot Irish potato bread from scratch. The thing is, I realized as I mulled over the encouraging message from last night that sometimes we can accept and not appreciate our spouses differences- when those differences are weaknesses. Tim will never appreciate that I can't find my way out of a paper bag to save my life, but he can come to appreciate that God saw fit to pair me with him, who has a sense of direction that is almost magical in its instictiveness. Without him, God only knows how much time I'd spend holed up in my house, afraid to go out lest I end up in another time zone while trying to find a store down the street. On the other hand, if Tim didn't have me, he may never sample the joys of tall, fluffy homemade biscuits, or have a wife nutty enough to talk to him for hours at a time in funny, foreign accents. I'm a nut, he's sane and we're different. Oh, joy!

(posted by Reese)

1 comment:

  1. I like this post and yes you are a nut but I love you